Therapeutic (now called Adaptive) riding has been practiced around the world for many years. Initially it was used to help people recover from physical trauma-induced injuries. Later it was expanded to include people with other physical disabilities, and has been more recently extended for use with a variety of mental, emotional, and addiction maladies.
PATH International or the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International describes therapeutic riding as “using equine-assisted activities for the purpose of contributing positively to cognitive, physical, emotional, and social well being of people with disabilities. Because horseback riding rhythmically moves the rider`s body in a manner similar to a human gait, riders with physical disabilities often show improvement in flexibility, balance, and muscle strength.”